CHICAGO — Dwight Howard didn't offer many clues about his future plans when he answered questions from Windy City media after the Orlando Magic's shootaround at United Center on Thursday.
What is he thinking right now? Does he want to remain with the Magic?
"My thing is, like they know, I want to win, and I want to put my team in the best position," Howard said. "I've given Orlando eight hard years. Everything I've got, I've left on the floor, and they all understand that and that's where I keep it. I'm not focused on what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day.
"I'm just focused on, like you said earlier, the moment, and that's the game tonight. We owe the Bulls one. They beat us on our home floor, and we don't want anymore buzzer beaters by Derrick Rose. So that's what we've got to concentrate on tonight."
Many Chicago Bulls fans have dreamed of Howard somehow winding up with the Bulls and teaming up with Rose, his friend and fellow adidas pitchman.
Asked if he's been walking around Chicago imagining what it might be like to be in the Windy City permanently, Howard offered a playful, but perhaps telling, answer.
"Nah, it's pretty cold here," Howard said.
When another reporter broke in and said Chicago has had "a somewhat mild winter," Howard said, "Well, it was cool yesterday. I did get a chance to go out and see the city a little bit. It's a beautiful place. I've been here a couple of times. It's a very nice city."
Many people have wondered why the Bulls were not included on Howard's list of preferred trade destinations. The Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets are at the top of that list, which also includes the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
One theory why Howard hasn't been interested in Chicago is that adidas does not want its top two NBA pitchmen in the same city and that it would prefer to have Howard in the New York market.
Another theory is that Howard is reluctant to share the spotlight with Rose, the 2010-11 league MVP and a beloved figure in Chicago.
Howard was asked whether he wants to be "the guy" on any team he plays with. But it was unclear how Howard interpreted the question. He might have felt he was being asked whether he wants to take the bulk of his team's shots late in games.
Either way, the media availability session ended shortly thereafter and prevented a follow-up.
"I don't think there's a player in the NBA who wants to be a nobody," Howard said. "I think everybody wants to be that guy to take the last shot, to be that guy that everybody is leaning on for whatever reason. And I don't think there's any problem with wanting to be that guy. I've been that guy for this team since I've been here."
email@example.com. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.